Molasses Cookies

My mom mentioned in our weekly phone conversation before Christmas that she would like some Molasses cookies.  I made these cookies and they were hit with the residents and staff at Park Terrace.  I mailed her these cookies along with Spritz, Ricotta Cookies and Peanut Brittle.  She said these were the first to go.  Here is the simple and delicious recipe for you to share with friends and family any time of year.

Marto Motoko 013

Molasses Spice Cookies
(Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking 2011)

1/3 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup sugar for dipping later
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (Salted butter is fine.  I used to use it all the time in baking.  I only buy unsalted now.  It is the same price and with all the baking I do I might as well have that on hand, right?!)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (light brown would be fine, too)
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup light or dark molasses (measure in liquid measuring cup)

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place 1/2 cup sugar in a 8or9 inch cake pan.
2.  Whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, salt and spices, set aside
3.  In stand up mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat butter with brown and white sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add egg yolk and vanilla, increase speed to medium and beat until incorporatd.  Reduce speed to low and add molasses, beat until incorporated.  Be sure to scrape bottom and sides of bowl once with rubber spatula.  Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.  Give dough a final stir with the rubber spatula to be sure no pockets of flour remain at bottom.  Dough will be soft.
4.  Using tablespoon measure, scoop heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into 1 1/2 inch ball, drop ball into cake pan of sugar and roll in sugar.  Coat entire ball with sugar.  Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake 9-11 minutes.  They will look raw between cracks and underdone.  They are done though, don’t worry!
5.  Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to rack.  Let cool to room temperature.  Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 5 days in ziploc bag or airtight container.

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